Amorphophallus abyssinicus (A. Rich.) N.E. Br.
subsp. unyikae (Engl. & Gehrm.) Ittenb.

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Amorphophallus abyssinicus subsp. unyikae

Kasanka NP, Wasa Lodge, grown from seed Lusaka; Mar 2010.
Photo: Mike Bingham

Amorphophallus abyssinicus subsp. unyikae

Nov 2010.
Photo: Mike Bingham

Amorphophallus abyssinicus subsp. unyikae

Mopane Woodland; Mfuwe S road; Dec 2004.
Photo: Mike Bingham

Amorphophallus abyssinicus subsp. unyikae

Lusaka SE 13km; Jan 1999.
Photo: Mike Bingham

Amorphophallus abyssinicus subsp. unyikae

Freshly opened inflorescence; Kitwe: Nov 2014;
Photo: Janet Fisher

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Amorphophallus unyikae Engl. & Gehrm.
Common names: Black arum (English: Zambia)
Frequency: Occasional
Status: Native
Perennial herb, growing from a tuberous root. Leaf solitary, palmately divided into 1-2-pinnate segments on a long, fleshy stalk. Inflorescence usually solitary, appearing before the leaf on a short fleshy stalk; spathe very dark brownish-purple inside, often paler outside. Unpleasantly scented. Fruit bright orange-red when ripe on a much extended stalk.
Type location:
Derivation of specific name: abyssinicus: of Abyssinia (Ethiopia). Unyikae: the type specimen from Unyika, Mbeya District, Tanzania.
Habitat: Thicket, mopane woodland.
Altitude range: 500 - 1700 m
Flowering time:Oct - Dec
Worldwide distribution: Tropical and sub-tropical Africa, parts of the Middle East and India.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): B,N,W,C,E,S
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Nw,Cb,Mc,E,Lk,S,W
Growth form(s): Tree, shrub over 2 m.
Endemic status:
Red data list status: Lower Risk - least concern
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Monday 28 July 2014

Bolnick, D. (2007). A Guide to the Common Wild Flowers of Zambia and Neighbouring Regions Revised Edition. WECS, Lusaka, Zambia

Haigh, A. & Boyce, P. (2012). Araceae Flora Zambesiaca 12(1) Pages 40 - 41.

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 85. as Amorphophallus abyssinicus

Mayo, S.J. (1985). Araceae Flora of Tropical East Africa Page 29.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32

Other sources of information about Amorphophallus abyssinicus subsp. unyikae:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: Amorphophallus abyssinicus subsp. unyikae
Flora of Malawi: Amorphophallus abyssinicus subsp. unyikae
Flora of Mozambique: Amorphophallus abyssinicus subsp. unyikae
Flora of Zimbabwe: Amorphophallus abyssinicus subsp. unyikae

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Amorphophallus abyssinicus
African Plant Database: Amorphophallus abyssinicus
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Amorphophallus abyssinicus
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Amorphophallus abyssinicus
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Amorphophallus abyssinicus
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Amorphophallus abyssinicus
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Amorphophallus abyssinicus
JSTOR Plant Science: Amorphophallus abyssinicus
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Amorphophallus abyssinicus
Plants of the World Online: Amorphophallus abyssinicus
Tropicos: Amorphophallus abyssinicus
Wikipedia: Amorphophallus abyssinicus

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-23

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2023). Flora of Zambia: Species information: Amorphophallus abyssinicus subsp. unyikae., retrieved 28 November 2023

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